Prevailing-wage law falls in another state with repeal in Michigan

Michigan has become the third Midwestern state in three years to repeal its prevailing-wage law, which requires government contractors to provide employees with union-level wages and benefits for state or local public works projects. This legislative action came in June and did not require gubernatorial action. That is because the prevailing-wage repeal was scheduled to appear on the fall ballot. Under Michigan law, the Legislature has 40 days to adopt or reject a ballot proposal. If a proposal is not enacted within this time frame, it goes to the voters. The Detroit Free Press called the Legislature’s decision “the latest blow to organized labor.”

In 2015, Indiana legislators removed prevailing wage with the passage of HB 1019. The end of this law in Wisconsin came in two steps. The Legislature repealed prevailing wage for local government projects as part of the state’s last budget (SB 21) and then extended the repeal to state-funded projects in the current budget (AB 64).

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio have prevailing-wage laws. Ohio exempts local school projects; it and Minnesota set thresholds that trigger the prevailing wage based on the cost of a project.
Stateline Midwest: June/July 20182.11 MB